I spent a good part of my Labor Day laboring away at my schoolwork. I couldn’t have chosen an easy Masters Program like a Master of Arts in Needle Threading or a Master of Science in Dog Behavior; no, I had to go the Theological route and this program contains a very complicated number of courses that one simply cannot breeze through. It takes research, and with my tendency toward ADD, I will read something in a text which references a passage in Scripture and then I’m off to my bible to look that up and then I don’t understand it and I’m online looking up something else and that reference sends me to another resource book I may have on my shelf and this routine can go on and on and on and I end up only reading one or two pages of a text in the course of a hour. Whew – it’s exhausting following all the branches on this tree of knowledge upon which I’m perched. (Ooooh I liked that sentence.) Now, part of this education involves my having to find resource material in the form of tons of reference material and other books — books that cost alot of money — money that I don’t have because I quit my job 2 years ago when I was making mega-bucks as an overpaid defense contractor and am now anxiously awaiting returning to some type of work as my retirement fund is beginning to resemble the polar bear population (as in rapidly dwindling). Again, here goes my ADD acting up and I’m starting to get off subject.
Which (though that was a rather wordy intro), leads me to today’s subject: bookstores. My 6 faithful readers know I am an aficionado of Amazon.com – in fact I had a little tiff with them recently over a returned book and the fact they took a hefty deduction out of my refund for only-they-knew-what reasons – as I explained just how much money I give them on a regular basis and the access to Twitter I had where I would quickly tell the world how they were treating me unfairly and that it might possibly show up in my blog, lo and behold, I got not only the refunded deduction, I got the entire book refunded (and it was admittedly my fault for ordering 2 instead of 1 which I explained to them). That put Amazon.com back on my good list of bookstores. I like them because I can order source and reference material for school (which, being of a religious nature is sometimes difficult to find). I also like Barnes & Noble (or Barnes & Nibble as Devoted Spouse calls them because we frequently stop for a coffee and a little scone after browsing) and Borders – but both of them are expensive even with frequent buyer discounts. Anyway…
We have always had a Half-Price Bookstore in the Dayton area. But recently the store moved a little closer to me in my very own suburb of Beavercreek. This location is much larger, hence more books to peruse and yes they are half price. The only problem is you take your chances on finding the book you want — they may have it; they may not. I used to go to the old location and it was never overly crowded so I could take my time perusing the Religion section for texts and references and, of course, the mystery section for all my favorite mystery writers.
I went to the new location twice over this holiday weekend and twice I thought I might lose a limb. There were so many people that they actually shoved one another to get to books. What is this? I know the economy is bad, but c’mon it’s just a book! Today I loaded up some of my own books and sold them there and got enough money back to buy 3 new religious source books for my upcoming research paper. Yay me. The problem was I had to ask 3 gentlemen to move out of the aisle of books I was searching through — they weren’t looking at books; they were just hanging out in one of the Religion alcoves jabbering on about one author versus another, but not actually looking at the books and I was on a mission. You would have thought I asked them to move a tractor trailer with their bare hands – it was that big a deal. I politely asked that if they weren’t actively searching for books, to please take their conversation to another part of the store because it was entirely too crowded and I really was looking for a specific book. Was I wrong? I don’t think so. One guy shot me such a look – had I not been in the Religion section I would have gone up one side of him and down the other but I simply smiled and said “Please”? They started to leave, but I heard one of them call me a name on his way out the alcove and I found that upsetting. No, what I found upsetting was my instant reaction to go after him and smack the crap out of him, but I remembered I was looking for Christian material and I was going to be Christian about it and turn the other cheek. And I did. As he was leaving that particular book area, I moved a little and showed him my cheek(s). I saw him on the sidewalk on my way out of the store – in fact, he tripped over the curb and as I walked past him I might have casually remarked quietly, “God doesn’t like ugly.”